What's on the menu? New Years Eve 2017

I ended 2017 how I'll be starting 2018 - surrounded by my family and eating amazing food. Healthy. Vibrant. Wholesome. Food needs to be inviting. Even the most basic of meals can be prepared with a little bit of effort. Taking the time to appreciate what’s on my plate enables more mindful eating and makes the whole experience that much more enajoyable. I’ll be honest, with the addition of Hunter it isn’t always my best effort and it’s often done with one hand as the other supports him on my hip. He likes to think he’s helping. Little does he know how much he has inspires me in the kitchen. Oneday he’ll be old enough for me to tell him and oneday he'll be old enough to help out. I can’t wait to have him preparing family meals with me in the kitchen.  

From breakfast to dessert, this is what News Years Eve looked like for me.  

This is not far off a typical day of eating for me. Beside my epic vegan platter and the decadent vegan chocolate that I inhaled, every other meal pretty much resembles a normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. Colourful, fresh and animal product free. Lots of still and sparkling water is consumed throughout each day. I don't drink coffee, alcohol or sugary drinks. I'm energetic and crazy enough without it.  

I started with a smoothie bowl. I have a freezer full of frozen fruit which enables me to pick and choose what combination I want with little effort. This particular one was banana, nectarine, pineapple, pear, apple, mango, celery and mint that was freshly picked from my garden that morning. All blended together with some water in my brand new NutriBullet, thank you Christmas! I always add vegetables to my smoothies - with the sweetness of the fruit you can’t even taste it, so it’s an excellent way to get an extra serve or two of veg in. I wanted some freshness this morning and added some fresh mango and shredded coconut to top it off. It becomes more filling with toppings as you end up chewing your smoothie making you more aware of the eating process and it's better for you digestion. Mango is my ultimate summer fruit and Hunter couldn’t agree more. He’s obsessed. A hot water with fresh lemon to complement my smoothie bowl and wakeup my body was also had. No better way to start the day. 

Lunch consisted of a giant fruit salad. Fresh fruit on a summer day is a perfect way to hydrate due to the high water content in fruit and an excellent way to get in heaps of nutrients. Eat the rainbow. Each colour brings with it a different nutrient. Strawberries, blueberries, passiofruit, mango, plum, pineapple, and cantaloupe all topped off with some freshly picked mint. If you haven't guessed I live for fresh mint. This was the perfect lunch to cool down with after my last run of 2017. 

I always have a section of snacks on hand. I love to graze through out the day and have healthy options ready to go. Today was no exception. Some homemade dehydrated apple crisps kept me going in the afternoon. Again, thank you Christmas. My dehydrator has proven itself a worthy appliance so far. I’m sure I’ll have more to share about this soon! My MIL did extensive research on the best one to buy and it seems to be working pretty well. These were the first batch I made, and besides a slight encounter with my thumb and the mandolin it all went rather smoothly! They were coated in lemon juice to prevent browning and with the addition of some cinnamon they taste amazing. Cinnamon is an excellent spice to fight off inflammation, improve digestion and steady your blood sugar levels. I tend to add it in where ever I can.

Arriving at my Mum's house I was greeted by a bench top that was stock piled with my favourites: medjool dates, figs, cherries, lychees, pickles, pickled onion, olives, an array of nuts, rice and seaweed crackers, a beetroot relish and a hummus dip. New Years Eve was off to a an epic start. She sure knows how to cater for me. I would have been happy with just the hummus but you definitely didn't hear me complain. To my surprise the fridge was stocked Kombucha as well. She really is the best mum. I mentioned above that I like to have snacks on hand, my cupboard at home is filled with all these foods. So whilst a giant platter isn't on my daily menu I will often graze on two or three of the items listed. 

Dinner was a roasted vegetable salad. My absolute go to to take anywhere. It’s bright, colourful and such an easy way to get a huge veggie kick! Whatever veggies you have on hand will do. Today's one was carrot, potato's (from my school garden), pumpkin, zucchini, green capsicum and red onion. All were coated in olive oil and my go to spices, turmeric, paprika and cumin. Once cooked they were served on a bed of turmeric brown rice. The turmeric not only adds flavour, and a vast range of nutritional benefits but also a vibrant colour to showcase the veggies on. Remember we eat with our eyes first. Finally topped off with some fresh mint, you're seeing pattern here, yes? Also fresh tarragon made the plate, roasted sunflower and pepita seeds and a red wine vinegarette. A perfect and balanced salad to end 2017 on.

Finally out came the chocolate. I could have cried actual tears when my Aunty pulled this treat out of her bag. When your family just get you it's a wonderful thing. The love and support is all too real. The most delicious, decadent vegan chocolate. Tonantzin Aztec Artisan Chocolate. Two flavours; Lime and Prickly Pear, and Maya Nut and Amaranth. Such a great way to end an amazing day of food. Nourishing my body from start to finish. I ate this along side a turmeric tea blend that I picked up at the Yarra Valley Farmers Market last month. 

Well there you have it. A vegan New Years Eve from breakfast to dessert. Every colour you could imagine. Hunter tried it all, and loved it as did my other half. He did also consume a fair amount of red wine though and is suffering the consequences as we speak, I'll hold my dad responsible for that one. Eating this way is far from depriving. I'm no expert, I'm still learning every day and I'm loving every second of it. My body has never felt better. I was ready for my 6am alarm in the form of a baby to start the first day of 2018. Here's to more fresh produce, smoothie bowls and salads.